With rapid advances in technology and the ubiquitous presence of screens in our daily lives, discussions around wellness, health, and stress reduction have become extremely prevalent. The relentless demand to excel, be more efficient, and do more can make life overwhelming, but what if the answer to these pressures has been here all along? The best way to combat the distancing effects of the screen is to reconnect with nature, and there’s no better way to do this than by cultivating a garden full of life.
The American Institute of Stress reports gardening can help relieve stress by encouraging creativity, increasing focus and mindfulness, and reducing the stress hormone cortisol. From the time spent in the sun to the fresh fruits and vegetables harvested, gardening produces the cleanest and most beneficial source of nutrients available today. Without fueling our bodies with clean, wholesome foods, how can we expect to thrive under all the pressures we face daily? When foods are allowed to reach their full maturity on the plant, they are denser with nutrients compared to those that are picked early for better transportation. Gardening also provides a greater appreciation for the creative experience of cooking and experimenting with food. From infusing basic ingredients with the complexity of herbs to using the freshest ingredients around, gardening is the key to reconnecting with true whole foods and kicking processed, energy-draining add-ins to the side.
When you let yourself spend time in nature, it is easy to fall in love with the outdoors all over again. Work and the many other things that build up on our to-do lists are important, but they often distract us from the basic things that bring us true joy in life. Time spent gardening is not just another to-do item. It is time invested in ourselves, our families and our communities. This quality time is what allows balance in every other facet of our lives. As you feel the soil against your hands and smell the aroma released by fresh leaves and flowers, you can’t help but feel your body healing itself from stress and reconnecting with the beautiful world around you.
Getting started isn’t difficult. Try a simple assortment of herbs for everyday cooking and teas. Whether you only have a little space on your balcony, or an open yard ready for a makeover, gardening is for everyone. Feeling overwhelmed by the idea? Start small with an herb garden you can benefit from every day. Then, as your connection with the process grows, you can continue to expand your garden. Remember, gardening isn’t about competition. It is about creating a space for thriving in all aspects of your life. Take back your focus and motivation by expressing a little creativity with gardening. Learn more: www.trueleafmarket.com.
About the Author: Ashleigh Smith is the Managing Editor at True Leaf Market with a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Brigham Young University – Idaho. True Leaf Market is a nationally certified organic, non-GMO seed and horticultural company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The True Leaf Market staff specializes in supplying a large selection of conventional, heirloom, and organic seeds to home gardeners everywhere. Learn more about our seeds, supplies, and other growing ideas: www.trueleafmarket.com.